Business/Publishing, TPC Alumni
By Mikinzie Stuart
Mimi Miles knew she wanted to write from an early age; it was part of her childhood. But she had to learn marketing and design concepts to make it in the business world—a place where creativity means creating a technical message while keeping the reader engaged. A dedicated runner, Mimi’s disciplined writing-style has marked her success in her marketing career.
What She Does
Mimi is responsible for all aspects of product marketing including pricing, packaging, and promotion. She is also responsible for corporate marketing including advertising, interactive strategy, public and analyst relations, and more.
This includes developing the overall marketing strategy and executing a variety of product launches and marketing programs throughout the year. Typical duties range from doing competitive analysis on a single product line to generating leads for our sales team through a mix of industry events, advertising, and telemarketing.
Mimi says she spends 25% of her time writing: “Most typically, I am developing product-related messaging—more technical in nature. For corporate marketing, the messages are less technical and more focused on key industry challenges,” said Mimi.
Where She was Educated
Ferris State University: bachelor’s degree in Technical Communication
University of Michigan: master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Global Leadership
Her Professional Pathway
Mimi interned for a division of AT&T Corporation during her second year at FSU, where she supported the National Accounts division doing market research and customer surveys.
The following year, she interned for TPS Technologies where she was responsible for copyediting and key-lining GM engine repair manuals into SGML format for online viewing since TPS was under contract with GM at the time.
She transitioned from this internship into her first full-time job the summer after graduating from FSU. She then went on to hold positions at Media 1 Interactive, Adobe Software, Whitman-Hart/ marchFIRST Technology Consulting, Elexicon Inc., and Covinist, where she works now.
Why She Writes
Mimi has always loved to write and inherited this passion from her mother, who encouraged her to pursue a writing career. She gives credit to great high school teachers that helped her refine her writing skills: “Dr. Sandy Balkema (at FSU) taught me how to put my love for writing into practical application in the workplace. I now get paid for doing what I love,” she said.
As a result of only working for IT services or software firms, instability in the IT industry caused speed bumps in Mimi’s career: “I once worked for a company that merged with another firm, executed a public IPO, then went bankrupt all within a one-year time frame. My longest tenure with any company was four years—this is the somewhat unfortunate nature of the IT industry,” she said.
How Technology has Affected Technical Writing
Mimi says technology has greatly affected her career: “I was fortunate enough to be part of Adobe software early in my career. It was there that I learned solid desktop publishing and graphics arts skills.” She said that these served as the basis for a long career in software marketing. “Paired with writing abilities, design skills make me a very well-rounded professional,” added Mimi.
How She Transitioned
Mimi began her career doing only technical writing, which lasted for about three years. Once she learned design, she transitioned into a marketing team and has been doing software marketing ever since.
A Word of Advice
“Internships are essential—even if you find a position that doesn’t exactly align with your career aspirations—do it. Also, get involved in STC. The people and writing opportunities are endless with that organization. Get your name published in as many ways as possible,” says Mimi.
A Day in the Life
Mimi spends her morning doing tactical work on a variety of projects. Currently, her major focus is working with an external agency to redesign Covisint’s overall identity—new colors, graphics schemes, tagline, and more.
Her afternoons are spent in meetings on more strategic initiatives, such as re-organizing Covisint’s marketing team to make better use of scarce resources. Therefore, she works under Covinist’s President to help make decisions on which people and programs best suit Covinist’s business strategy.